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Expert in the Spotlight: Arne De Wilde

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"You can see the growing importance of AI everywhere, including our own business structure."
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Photo of Arne De Wilde
Arne De Wilde
Today, we’re shining the spotlight on one of our youngest prodigies, Arne De Wilde. After completing his studies in Applied Computer Science and a successful internship at RoboRana in 2020, Arne joined the Caudata team as an Intelligent Automation Consultant. Caudata is one of our competence centers, specializing in automating business processes using digital workforces, or RPA as many of you know it. We sat down with Arne to learn more about his journey and the evolving landscape of automation.

Arne, you chose to study AI during your time at university. How have you seen the field change in recent years?

When I graduated from Karel De Grote University College in 2020 and completed my internship at RoboRana, AI wasn’t as widespread as it is now. You can see the growing importance of AI everywhere, including RoboRana’s business structure. We’ve evolved into a more professional and streamlined organization, with clearly defined responsibilities for different business entities. Our differences nicely complement each other, which gives our customers more clarity.  

Can you tell us more about Caudata’s role in this new organizational structure?

Caudata is all about process automation. As an intelligent automation consultant, I focus on integrating AI into the automation landscape. AI certainly presents its own set of challenges, but I believe that the various facets of the RoboRana Group will work even more closely together as we continue to add AI applications and services to our portfolio. In the end, it’s all about finding the right balance and working together to achieve our goals.

I see AI as the next step in automation, taking us beyond the limits of RPA
-Arne

I think our unique synergy really makes us stand out, both internally and to our clients. And the best part is, I still have the freedom to keep improving and to develop new ideas and work methodologies that I remember from my internship. It’s an exciting time to be part of the team to be sure.

What fascinates you about AI?

I see AI as the next step in automation, taking us beyond the limits of ‘traditional’ Robotic Process Automation (RPA). At Caudata, we’re at the forefront of finding ways to seamlessly integrate those two. For example, imagine being able to ask a chatbot how to create a new user in an SAP system and having it not only provide an answer but also execute the task.  It’s these kinds of intelligent virtual assistants that we want to create!

We’re also developing systems that autonomously perform actions based on user inputs, linking the power of (generative) AI with RPA systems. As someone who gets to work as both an architect and developer, I really enjoy these types of projects. By the way: I’m currently working on an action plan for AI implementation at RoboRana Group, so we have a clear roadmap for developing these applications. This helps us to act faster without getting sidetracked by a bunch of unstructured ideas.

What challenges do you see with the increased implementation of AI?

AI is inherently unpredictable, so it requires a lot of testing and proofing when implemented. Clear communication and managing expectations with our clients are crucial when implementing AI applications, and this takes time and effort.
-Arne

Transparency and realism are key. Implementing AI involves increased collaboration with the business side of organizations. That’s definitely something I learned on the job since communication wasn’t exactly a central part of the applied informatics curriculum. Status meetings with project managers, contact with clients, meetings with upper management, … these are quite different from what we were taught.

Clear communication and managing expectations are crucial when implementing AI applications, and this takes time and effort.
-Arne

How do you keep up with all the new trends in AI?

It’s challenging to keep up because the technology develops really fast. To be fair, that’s always been the case, even in the early days. I’ve realized that you just can’t follow everything new about AI, so I try to keep up with the major trends and limit myself to the topics and developments that I think are relevant for my projects. But even then, it’s a weekly routine to stay up to date.

What are your ambitions for the coming year?

I’m getting better in my role, and I hope to play a more strategic part within Caudata and guide the integration of AI applications within the RoboRana Group as a whole. With these internal applications, we'll be able to help our clients change the way they work and create a lasting impact.

At RoboRana, I have the freedom to keep improving and to develop new ideas and work methodologies.
-Arne

How do you unwind in your free time?

Outside of work, I like to stay active and recharge my batteries by running and going to the gym. I also enjoy exploring new places and going on adventurous travels. Whether I’m hitting the trails in my hiking boots or learning about the latest developments in automation, I’m always pushing myself to grow and achieve my goals.

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